After you are accepted to the IEP, there are steps that will need to be completed before your arrival.
All new students are required to pay the $200 nonrefundable enrollment deposit. Questions can be directed to email@example.com.
1. Pay the SEVIS fee (upon receipt of your I-20). The SEVIS fee is non-refundable. For more information on the SEVIS fee, and to make a payment online, visit www.FMJfee.com.
2. Apply for a visa:
- Make an appointment to visit your local U.S. Embassy with your I-20 to obtain your student visa.
- When you visit the U.S. Embassy you will need to show your acceptance letter, your original bank statement(s), and your I-20 in order to be considered for an F-1 student visa.
- Once your visa is approved by the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your home country, you may enter the United States. If you are unable to get your visa, please let us know as soon as possible. Please do not enter the United States on a tourist visa.
You will receive pre-arrival emails with important information leading up to your arrival. These emails will come to your personal email address you applied with and will come from firstname.lastname@example.org. It is very important that you read these emails and follow any instructions included in them.
- You should plan to arrive several days before the start of orientation in order to get settled into your new surroundings. See orientation dates on the IEP Semester Dates page.
- There is one major airport in Raleigh, the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), located around 13 miles (21 kilometers) from the university.
You will be using your Unity ID and a password you create to access very important information throughout your time at NC State.
MyPack Portal (mypack.ncsu.edu) is the website used to apply for housing, pay program costs and update personal information for your SEVIS record.
- What is MyPack Portal
- Set Up Your Unity Account
- Duo 2-Factor Authentication
- Google 2-Factor Authentication
Contact the NC State Help Desk at +1 (919) 515-4357 or email@example.com if you have trouble.
- Confirm that you will be attending the IEP in the upcoming semester by completing the arrival form that is emailed to you. You will be asked for your Raleigh housing address and your flight itinerary.
- The deadline to confirm is July 15 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester (or within 10 days of receipt of your acceptance letter if after the deadline).
There are stores where you can buy essential items that are a short distance from campus so there is no need to bring large amounts of toiletries, travel size will be enough until you get to a store.
- Informal: jeans, t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts are most common
- Formal: clothes for special events
- Umbrella and/or raincoat
- Winter coat
Weather changes fast and often in North Carolina.
- Winter temperatures vary. The coldest months are usually January through March: between 15 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 and 4 degrees Celsius)
- Summer months are hot
- Spring and fall are relatively mild
- The U.S. uses 110v electrical current.
- Laptop (if you have one)
- Can buy in the U.S. inexpensively: small items such as a hairdryer, hair straightener, electric razor, etc.
- If you bring medicine with you, your medicine should be labeled and in original containers.
- The name on the containers should match the name on your passport.
- Bring a copy of any prescription you will need using the generic name of the medication in English.
Linens and Towels
- Past students suggested one set of linens and towels for the first few days and then purchasing more if needed.
- Bed linens, pillows, blankets, and towels can be bought inexpensively in Raleigh
- Make sure your ATM card will work in the U.S. before you leave! The Cirrus, Plus, Mastercard, and Visa systems are the most widely accepted.
- Since it usually takes checks issued by overseas banks 4 to 6 weeks to clear American banks, we recommend that you bring travelers checks in U. S. dollars or a credit card to pay for your immediate expenses (housing, transportation, food, etc.).
- If you bring a check from an overseas bank, be aware that you may not have access to money from that check for 4 to 6 weeks.
- You can change your money at a local bank. There may be a conversion fee, but it will probably be less than the fee at the airport.
- During orientation, you will have the option of setting up a bank account at a common American banking institution.
HealthyPackPortal (sso.medicatconnect.com) is the Student Health Services website where you submit immunization records and make health center appointments.
- You must provide proof of immunizations to NC State before you arrive.
- Follow the steps listed on the Student Health Center website.
All NC State students, including IEP students, are required to maintain health/medical insurance while they are at the university. Students are responsible for all costs associated with their health insurance.
Student Blue Health Insurance
IEP students may choose to use the NC State University provided health insurance, Student Blue from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, for a fee of approximately $1,300 each semester (for the exact cost, go to the NC State Student Services website).
Note: The Student Blue policy does NOT cover dental care. However, Student Health Services offers a dental discount program.
For questions regarding insurance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative Health Insurance
Students may waive enrollment in (choose not to use) Student Blue if they can prove that they have health/medical insurance from another insurance provider.
This insurance may be purchased abroad or in the United States, but it must meet the following coverage types and minimum amounts:
- Minimum total benefit/coverage of $100,000 (USD) per accident or illness
- Plan deductible of no more than $500 (USD)
- Provides a policy year deductible of no greater than $500 (USD)
- Minimum of $50,000 (USD) for medical evacuation
- Minimum of $25,000 (USD) for repatriation
- Policy must be active for the entire duration of the academic semester
Students will AUTOMATICALLY be billed for Student Blue health insurance UNLESS they submit a waiver proving that they have private health insurance that meets the above requirements. If students miss the deadline for submitting a waiver, they will be responsible for paying costs associated with the Student Blue health insurance even if they do not use it.
NOTE: Health insurance waivers MUST be completed each and every semester that a student is enrolled. The deadline for fall is always mid-September and the deadline for spring is at the end of January. See the StudentBlue website for the exact deadline.
Parking on campus requires a valid NC State Parking Permit. Permits are sold online beginning in early July. Parking permit options are limited for new students. You can request a parking pass on the NC State Transportation website, ncsu.edu/transportation.
Please visit our Transportation page to learn more about the bus system, parking around the IEP building, and other transportation options.
Once You Arrive
When you travel to the U.S., please carry with you (not in your checked baggage) your:
- Passport with the U.S. visa stamp
- Certificate of Eligibility (SEVIS Form I-20)
- Supporting documentation you provided to obtain the visa.
When you arrive in the U.S. you will automatically be issued an electronic I-94 record (record of your arrivals and departures). After your arrival, you should visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website to print your I-94. Keep the I-94 printout with your other travel documents.
There is one major airport in Raleigh, the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), located approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) from the university. The trip from the airport takes approximately 20 minutes.
Once you arrive at NC State University, you must update your SEVIS Local Address, Emergency Contact, and your Local Phone Number.
See the IEP Semester Dates page for the upcoming semester’s orientation dates.
You will take a placement exam on the first day of orientation. This exam will determine if you are placed into the IEP level 4, 5, or 6.
Details are located on our Placement Test page.
Please note: You must bring your passport with the U.S. visa inside, your I-94, your I-20 and any other necessary documents to orientation (such as documents for dependents, if applicable.
You are strongly encouraged to open a checking account when you arrive in Raleigh. With a checking account, you will receive a checkbook and an ATM card, which allows you to withdraw cash from your account 24-hours a day.
Services and fees vary but most banks in the area offer special student accounts with minimal or very low monthly charges. Be sure to ask about student accounts when you visit the banks (there are several within walking distance of campus) and have your passport and SEVIS Form I-20 or SEVIS Form DS-2019 with you when you open the account.
If you will be bringing a large amount of money with you at one time, you may also wish to open a savings account. Savings accounts earn interest. Banks also offer additional services such as loans, credit cards, and safe-deposit boxes at a lower cost to students.
Additional guidance on how to open a bank account will be covered during orientation.
Conditionally admitted students are required to have a meal plan since they will be living on campus. Students that applied directly to the IEP are not required to have a meal plan but can choose to have one. University Dining offers a variety of restaurants, dining halls, convenience stores and vending machines that accept meal plans to make eating with the Pack easy.
To sign up or compare meal-plan options, go to go.ncsu.edu/MealPlans. You have until September 30 each fall and January 31 each spring to make changes.
Your IEP program fee and university fees must be paid by the last day of orientation. This is before classes begin. The total IEP program fee and mandatory university fees can be found on the Full-Time Program Costs page (fees are subject to change at any time).
Payment will be made through your MyPack Portal. Payment options can be found on the Student Services Center website. Cash and personal checks are not accepted forms of payment.
Note: If you would like to pay your program fees before you arrive, please note that charges will not show on your account until orientation week. This means you will not be able to pay them until then. Guidance on how to pay will be covered during orientation.
There are grocery stores within walking distance of campus, and many a short bus ride away. There is also a shopping mall that is easily accessible by bus: Crabtree Valley Mall. There are so many great restaurants in Raleigh; you will not find the time to try them all.
Options Near Campus:
- Hillsborough Street: You will find coffee shops, sandwich shops, pubs, bookstores, and more. Most of the restaurants are inexpensive, aimed at students rather than “fine dining”.
- Mission Valley Shopping Center is located at the corner of Avent Ferry Road and Western Boulevard, about a 20 minute walk from Talley Student Union. Shops include a bookstore, pharmacy, dollar store, cinema, and several restaurants.
- Cameron Village is located on Oberlin Road between Hillsborough Street and Wade Avenue. Cameron Village offers more than 100 unique and distinctive shops, cafes, and services. It is about a 20 minute walk from Talley Student Union and is served by the NC State Wolfline Route 2.
You can give your parent or guardian online access to view your financial (billing/payment):
Log in to MyPack Portal (mypack.ncsu.edu). Go to Main Menu > Student Self Service > Campus Personal Information > Parent/Guardian Access.
To learn more about your academic records and the laws that protect them visit http://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/ reg-11-00-01.